Several of the strategies discussed in Kise, chapter 6 can also be applied to PLCs. Here are some examples….
Setting norms and sticking to them. Most of the PLC meetings that I have attended begin with an agenda with the PLCs chosen norms stated at the top. This not only keeps the PLC on task (Judging and Perceiving strategies), but it also helps both Thinking and Feeling Types to ensure that no one’s feelings are hurt during meetings and that everyone’s voices are both heard and respected.
I also love the idea of a conversation stick. I was actually on a PLC that used one and it was incredibly effective. Our group was pretty heavily extroverted and tended to blurt out and get way off task. Eventually we introduced a decorative stick and one could only contribute to the conversation when they were holding this stick. At first it seemed really silly to be doing this as adults, but once it proved to be effective, it was much appreciated!
Another strategy that I actually tried out with my third grade math group is the little red/green card. As Kise discusses on p.79, this little card is great for buying the Introverts some time to process and put together what they want to share out. When sharing data or asking for solutions to a problem, the red side of the card can be put out to show that it’s time to listen and process. Once all of the information is on the table, people can turn the card to green as they become ready to discuss and move forward. This worked pretty well with my third graders. I think it could be great for adults as well.
Lastly, the “active roles” are great to keep both PLCs and students on task. I also used this with one of my groups and found it to be very effective. For some of my extroverts, simply knowing that they had a job to do seemed to help them stay focused and engaged. We have used this strategy in meetings as well. Most of the PLC meetings I have attended have a note taker, a timer, and often someone who runs or directs the team to stick to the agenda.
It’s wonderful to think that as I learn all of these strategies to help me become a stronger educator, I am also becoming a better co-worker!